80s retro gamers: Why did the NES beat the Master System?

Back in the 1980s and into the 90s, Nintendo beat everyone in the gaming market. The NES is still the most sold video game console to date. I recently came about a competing console from that era: the Sega Master System. It has better graphics and sounds (more colors and more sound chip complexity), and according to google it wasn't much different in price to the NES. Why did the NES win? I think the NES sounds really bad, and all these new retro style games coming out today using that sound style suck, in my opinion.


Most Helpful Girl

  • You think the NES sounds bad



    I beg to differ...

    I think the Master System has definitely aged better, though. I don't really know why the NES won out. I don't think people really care as much about the hardware as they do, you know, that it's cool to have one? There was an *aggressive* marketing war between Nintendo and Sega around then. Sega ended up winning the market by a landslide in the next generation, I think, as well, and their tooth-and-claw marketing kind of permanently forced Nintendo into the position of the 'family gaming' company.

    I don't know why exactly but, yeah.

    • It's just a matter of preference, I guess. But I think the only reason anyone does NES style sound today is because it's so uniquely recognizable to that era. The Sega consoles back then sounded like arcades. The NES sounded like I don't know what, some kind of fancy calculator. They didn't use that sound because it was good, but because it was cheap.

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    • oh god you are so argumentative! Look at you trying to resurrect thirty year old console wars.

      SNES had good music for sure, yeah. Super Aleste is another favourite soundtrack of mine.

    • Well the console wars from back then are new to me. These days it's pretty clear that Sony is going to win.

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What Girls Said 0

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What Guys Said 2

  • The NES had a great marketing campaign and almost complete control over its third party developers making exclusive games on their console such as capcom and Konami. these things made it the must have item those years.

    • Maybe it was marketing, but then it was just driven by luck if we look at today and how badly the Wii U failed. It seems the only thing Nintendo has proven itself good at marketing consistently are handhelds, but the Wii U is probably their last console.

    • "but the Wii U is probably their last console"

      Nope, they already announced their next one. its called the NX https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo#Nintendo_NX

    • Seems like they haven't committed to anything. It's just a code word for a concept product. If they make another console flop it might bankrupt them. I remember when I was a kid some talk from Nintendo about a "Dolphin" console. I was really excited about it, but then it turned into the Gamecube. in my opinion they should stick to 3rd party development and handhelds. I have a 3DS and use it fairly often.

  • it just did